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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta’

Hello everyone!  I got to see a few of you over this past weekend, which was a really great surprise … kind of like Christmas morning as a child!

Speaking of Christmas, that’s coming up here fairly soon (also Thanksgiving), and I was thinking that you may be getting really concerned, maybe even nervous about what you are going to do on Sunday mornings while you’re home.

Well, have no fear.  We here at Peachtree U have got you covered (with the slight exception of Nov. 22, for those of you who will be around for the Sunday before Thanksgiving).  On that morning, we’ll still do a brief Coffee Hour before the 1105 service in the Lodge Cafe from 10:40 – 11.

As for 11/29 and 12/13 – 1/3, check out the trips and events page for full details.  Can’t wait to see all of you.  Hope you’re finishing out the semester (or quarter) well!

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Well, it was my first ever attempt at cooking pancakes … I’d say that mediocre was the goal and, not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty sure that goal was reached!  It was great to have so many of you, and my hope is that it was a sweet time for ya’ll to reconnect with one another after a few months away.

Church is doing life together in community.  Eating, worshipping, serving, partying, etc. and we are a part of that.  Yesterday we ate together, many of us worshipped together, and coming up in the next few months we’ve got the opportunities to party together and to serve together.

On Thursday, Dec. 18, right after the Vespers Worship service, we’re gonna head across the street to the new diggs for our “Rat Pack” Peachtree U Christmas Party.  There is a facebook event that I’ll use to figure out numbers, so let me know if you’re planning on coming.  We’ll have eggnog and other festive beverages, as well as some trivia, so be brushed up on your knowledge of the Rat Pack … and Christmas.

Now, onto the serving together part; we still need people to sign up for our Spring Break Mission Trip to Honduras.  I have talked to a bunch of “maybes” and would love to see those maybes turn into sign-ups.  Remember that the deadline to sign up is Dec. 13 and that the dates for the trip are Mar. 14-21.

Finally, I wanted to wish everyone good luck on their finals.  Get good sleep, eat well, study hard, but don’t let the next few weeks consume you.  Life is more than your GPA … GPA is important … but other things are important too!  Worship God with your whole life, and call me when you get back in town!

Blessings

Will

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Hey Everybody! Hope you’re all doing well, making decent grades, having a lot of fun, etc, etc. This is going to be a shorter post this month, but I do want to let you all know what’s been going on back home.

As most of you are probably aware, Peachtree is getting ready to open up its new Student Ministries building, The Lodge! It’s right across the street from the sanctuary and it’s awesome. We’ve just gotten our certificate of occupancy, which means that we can go over there and look at all the cool stuff inside. There’s going to be a cafe downstairs where we will be selling, literally, the world’s best coffee, as rated by Savour Magazine. We just hired Garrett Brown, a trendy, coffeehouse-type-guy, to manage the cafe and everything is kicking off this Sunday, Nov. 2.

All of the Student ministries programs are getting ready for the morning, and I’m getting ready for our 1st Night Concert Sunday night. Micah Dalton & Ryan Horne will be playing their own music in the HS room/killer concert venue, and it’s totally for free … So if ya’ll can make it back this weekend, that would be really awesome.

One other cool thing happening with college ministry is the planning of our spring break mission trip to Honduras. We will be taking 15 students on a trip from March 14 – 21, 2009 to Pena Blanca, Honduras, and partnering with Salt & Light Ministry there for a week of construction, evangelism, and encouraging the local church. IF YOUR COLLEGE HAS THE SAME SPRING BREAK, WE WANT YOU TO COME WITH US!!! So let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you more info.

We’re also in the early stages of planning for a two-week college trip to Kenya this summer, so be thinking about that as well.

As for you, I hope that you are all finding purpose in your time at college, be it with learning, or relationships, or self-discovery/growth, etc. If you are having a hard time finding that purpose, let me encourage you to take it upon yourself to create it. Find a person or a group of people to serve, or try to work on recognizing your own sin & brokenness and work alongside God in trying to remove that from your life … or maybe look for some field of study that you are passionate about and really pour into that with a goal of using your knowledge for good in the world someday.

God cares about all of those things, and God cares about you and made you for a purpose!

I hope that you all know how much we care about you here at Peachtree and want the best for you. If you can make it home this weekend, we’d love to see you. If not, we’ll have a breakfast for you all on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and a Christmas party in December.

Peace & Hair Grease

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Welcome back to the blog! This first month has been an exciting one for many of you at gulf coast schools, and our prayers have been with you all. It has been an exciting month back here in Atlanta as well. 

What’s going on in ATL?

The 11o5 service is growing and a few college students trickle in here and there. The monthly young adult worship service, Vespers, started back up this past Thursday as a college & young adult service! So that’s pretty exciting, and I was able to force a bunch of pledges from my old fraternity to come out and make it look like I’m doing a good job of getting college students on board!!!

That last sentence was a joke… but seriously, we had a few Tech students come out and had a great evening!

I’ve had 3 GT students make commitments to be a part of the core group of students who will begin building the on-campus ministry at GA Tech (if that rate keeps up then the goal of 10 by February will get shattered!)

Also, just a few days ago I received confirmation that we have secured the dates of March 14-21 for our first annual spring break mission trip. We’ll be taking a group of 15 students and partnering with Salt & Light, a a holistic Honduran ministry seeking to provide spiritual, educational, housing, medical, and dental care to the poor in Honduras. So if your school has that spring break, you’re invited … no … encouraged to join us on that trip. I’m really excited about it!

And finally, the adult discipleship ministry at PPC has decided to relinquish claim to the name Peachtree U so that college ministry can use it … So, from here on out, the Peachtree Pres college ministry will be named Peachtree U. I hope that some of you will keep me and Peachtree U in your prayers, specifically that God would bring together a solid group of students to begin building a community dedicated to building for the kingdom of God on the Georgia Tech Campus, in the City of Atlanta, and around the world. Thanks!

What’s Going on With You?

As for you … how are you doing? Are you getting settled in and feeling like you are back to life as you want life to be?  I was always thankful to get back into the swing of things at college.  To get away from my family for a while, even though I loved them, and to get to continue exploring the questions of “what am I about?” “who am I as an individual … who did God make me to be?” 

Last month I wrote to you about the tension that college often creates in us as Christians and our tendency to put our focus on things that Jesus didn’t seem overly concerned with. I hope that was helpful for some of you.

This month I’d like to switch gears a bit and deal more with the questions “why faith?” and “why now, in college?”

For many of us, faith has always been … and as far as we are concerned, it always will be. We grew up in the church, we had a great experience with that, at times our faith was really significant to situations we were dealing with in day to day life, and we’ve got no reason to look anywhere else. But the question “why are you a Christian?” doesn’t seem justly answered by the words “because I came from a Christian family.”

And though that may be a true statement, the fact remains that college and the independence that comes with it raise some good questions for us in regards to our faith. “How does my faith become my own and not just my parents’?” or “when I really think about it, do it believe all of the things that I’ve always professed to believe or did I just accept them as true because they were given to me as truth?”

Ignore the desire to feel guilt over asking these kinds of questions: they are good questions to ask. 

I believe that God desires that each of us would reach a point where our faith becomes our own … something that we can explain and that is consistent with the lives that we live, so that we believe what we believe with our actions and not just with our mouths.

So, how does your faith impact your life? Why faith? Why now?

The temptation here is to tell you what faith in Jesus can do for you in college … and there are plenty of good, self-serving reasons to hold such a faith at this point in your life.

But what I think is more important is what faith in Jesus can dothrough you. The truth of faith is Jesus is that it does serve the one who holds it … it gives him or her a sense of purpose … of being a part of God’s big mission of redemption … but it, at the same time, calls you to active duty in building for the kingdom of God.

When it comes down to it, faith in Jesus means that you’re life matters … it means that you can impact the world … it’s a reason to get up in the morning beyond just going to 60% of your classes.

And in college, isn’t that the question that we often find ourselves asking? “what’s the point of all of this?” … “what purpose do I serve?”

The answer to those questions can be found in the life of Jesus, and when you find those answers for your life, and when you are faithful to those answers, the world will be thankful for your life!

My hope for all of you is that you would find your purpose in life to be aligning itself more and more with the purposes of God, and that that is more than enough reason to not only hold onto the faith that has served you up to this point, but to pursue growth in that faith.

peace friends

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Hello All!

I hope this e-mail finds you all in good spirits, and for those of you who are freshmen this year, I hope that you are loving your new-found freedom and staying afloat as college students!

Each month I’ll be writing a brief newsletter to let you know what is going on back here in ATL and to check in and hopefully offer some encouragement for whatever may be going on in your lives. And in an effort to not cloud everyone’s inbox the letter will be posted on a blog, http://www.peachtreecollege.blogspot.com. This way, if you want to keep up with the ministry you can bookmark the blog or subscribe to it in your Google reader or whatever feed-reader you prefer, and if you don’t you won’t have another unwanted e-mail every month.

What’s Going on With You? (How I’m praying …)

The return to college (or the first arrival at college for some) is bittersweet. You are back to freedom from the parents, back to some of your best friends … and also back to calculus … back to Russian Lit … back to Science, Technology, and Postmodernism. And wrapped up in all of this is the lingering question, “who am I going to be this year? Who am I going to be these 4 years? Am I Johnny/Jane College or Johnny/Jane Christian? Both seem to have their perks and both certainly have their disadvantages as well.

For me, especially freshmen year, this was a very real tension. I had pledged a fraternity, and had some expectations for what that might mean for my moral uprightness. I had also just made a very significant step in my faith in/relationship with God a few months earlier. And in high school and the summer afterwards that was very exciting … all I needed … but by August the excitement had faded, and I started to wonder if the faith that I held would created unwanted barriers in my life away from home. I often found myself wishing that I was not a Christian so that I could do the things I wanted to do. I also found myself regretting a number of the things that I was doing because they seemed contradictory to the purpose I understood the Christian life to be promoting.

Maybe the timing is somewhat different for you … maybe not … but as I understand college students and Christians, my experience was not an uncommon one. What we want to want and what we really want don’t always line up.

I’m not going to pretend that I can offer you a solution to this tension … it is simply a truth of these four years that most of us encounter at some point. What I will offer is some of my own journey through this tension. As I read books and dug into scripture and learned from the master himself, Joe Ryan, one thing that I discovered is that I was holding myself to a different standard than Jesus seemed to hold people to. In my mind there were certain sins that dictated whether or not I was succeeding as a Christian, and if I could restrain from certain things and read my Bible and pray with some regularity, then I was succeeding. But Jesus seemed far less concerned with those things than I was. Not totally unconcerned … but not willing to let any of those things be an end in themselves. 

For Jesus morality mattered for its larger purpose … to make the world a better place for everyone and everything in it. It is an issue of trusting God to know better than we do how life is intended to be lived if we are going to have the best life possible, not of merely following arbitrary rules.

And so the source of my tension turned out to be rooted in the surface issues and totally oblivious to their deeper implications. I would argue that my hyper-legalistic concern to be a morally upright person often blinded me to what seem to be two of Jesus’ primary concerns: loving God and loving people, including myself (read Matthew 22:36-40)

My encouragement to you is this: Don’t let legalism paralyze you with fear or guilt—you are free from those things—but sincerely ask the question “Am I becoming a more or a less loving person through this action?” and don’t assume that you know what the answer to that question is … God may surprise you!

What’s Going On In ATL? (What you can be praying for)

11o5 & Vespers are serving as the college ministry’s two worship services and a few students from GT, Agnus Scott, and GA State have begun attending 11o5 with some regularity (Vespers begins in September)

Common Ground is a monthly outreach event that we’ll host at Octane Coffee Shop in Midtown. It’s designed to provide a place for civil theological conversation to take place between people of all different faith systems and will start this Monday night (labor day … maybe poor planning …).

GT Campus Scripture Dive is starting up this upcoming week as well. On Tuesday nights a group of students from GT will meet together to take an in-depth look at the Sermon on the Mount and hopefully get a better idea of what Jesus was all about.
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Thanks for reading! Please feel the freedom to write back and ask questions or just fill me in on life! The rest of these will be posted on the blog.

Peace

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